Convertible tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime have already been priming us (if you’ll forgive the pun) to expect ARM-powered devices to act as laptop replacements. However, with Windows 8 set to finally make the leap to non-X86 platforms, we can expect to see fully functional ultraportables that are both thinner and lighter than the cream of the current Ultrabook crop before year’s end.
Qualcomm is one of the leading ARM-based SoC manufacturers, responsible for such greats as the original Snapdragon found in a multitude of first and second-generation premium Android handsets. The company’s latest S4 Snapdragon SoC (codenamed Krait) will initially be making its way into ‘laptop’ tablets such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and Lenovo IdeaTab S2 in a dual-core, 1.5GHz guise – where it already appears to kick Tegra 3 behind in a number of scenarios.
However, Qualcomm’s senior vice-president Rob Chandhok has said we can expect quad-core S4 laptops before the end of the year, which will be not just thinner and lighter but significantly more powerful in the graphics department than their X86 counterparts and have better battery life. Considering they’ll also come with 3G/4G onboard as standard and will, in many cases, be running Microsoft’s Windows 8, we’re pretty excited about the future.